President Shimon Peres and Defense Minister Ehud Barak slammed the phenomenon of youths shirking their military service at the unveiling of a monument in northern Israel commemorating the 2,200 fallen Israeli soldiers from the kibbutz movement.
"Those who avoid serving in the IDF do not give even the bare minimum required for Israel's existence. The volunteering spirit of the kibbutz youths should inspire similar contributions from the rest of the population," said Peres. Barak said the kibbutzim have the right to sound off against draft dodgers who chose not to serve out of "selfish or careerist reasons." (Sharon Roffe-Ofir)